Archive for the ‘
Baby Name Stories ’ Category
Monday, February 9th, 2015
Names generally skip a generation or two before they come back into vogue—so when it comes to up-and-coming baby name options, try your local retirement community! Grandpa names have become especially popular for boys lately, as celebrities have picked “old man” names for their baby boys. Several recent celeb babies have scored the name Gus; Bridesmaids actor Chris O’Dowd chose Art (likely short for Arthur) for his new son; and Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis picked Otis for their son.
Interested in following this trend? Here are a few other grandpa names that seem ready for resurrection for the new generation of boys—and in some cases, even girls. (We’ve seen a few girls sporting Winston, Walter, and Lionel!)
Hugo There was the kids’ movie a few years back—and of course, Ron and Hermione picked it for their son in the Harry Potter series. Plus it has a great meaning: “intellect.”
Leopold You get the cool “Leo” nickname from this old-school name that means “brave people.” Leopold hasn’t seen the top 1000 since the 1920s, making it a truly vintage name.
Nelson Pay homage to South African civil rights fighter (and former president) Nelson Mandela with this name pick, which is currently trending just outside the top 600 names.
Winston This is a winning name, associated with Britain’s famed WWII era prime minister, Winston Churchill. There’s been a sharp and sudden increase in popularity in this one over the past few years. (Maybe it’s because of its definition: wine’s town!)
Quincy Skip the overpopular (and increasingly girly) Quinn and go for this old-school version, made popular by a 1970s TV show, Quincy, M.E., and of course, an early U.S. President. It literally means “fifth son,” but you don’t have to save it for that particular person.
Wallace Animated characters Wallace and Gromit, and cool Veronica Mars BFF Wallace Fennel haven’t helped this name rejoin the top 1000 yet, but give it time. I like “Ace” as an offbeat nickname from this one.
Walter Walter is starting to see a small uptick in popularity, after being on a slow and steady decline since the 1930s. It means ruler.
Lionel You’ll find another path to Leo through this old-school name, which actually means young lion. Singer Lionel Richie and legendary actor Lionel Barrymore are the most noted bearers of the name.
Wilfred I’m loving this old-school name as a way to pay homage to a William AND a Fred in your past. (And because it was given to one of my favorite Doctor’s companions on Doctor Who.) Plus, you have a choice of cute nicknames: Will or Freddie.
Alfred This close companion to Wilfred is the more commonly used name. It’s been on a steady downtick here, but it’s experiencing a bit of a renaissance in England, where kids are even getting the nickname “Alfie” as their official name. It’s the name of a legendary English king, the founder of the Nobel prize, and famed movie director Hitchcock.
Oscar This top 200 favorite is often associated with the Grouchy green Sesame Street character, but it has a wonderful meaning: champion.
Harry England’s wild about Harry, a top 10 favorite across the pond, thanks to their Prince and the boy wizard. Here, it still dwells near the bottom of the top 1000.
Vernon Vince Vaughn picked this poetic name, which means “place of alders,” for his son—I can see it catching on for non-celeb parents, too.
Tell us: What grandpa names are you loving these days? What other ones would you like to see make a comeback—and are there some that you think won’t ever make it back into vogue (we’re looking at you, Wilbur!)
If you’re looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder for get options. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
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Thursday, June 12th, 2014
The top 1000 baby names is always intriguing. But what’s even more interesting is seeing what’s below that level—the names that only 5 or 25 people picked for their kids. While there’s always an array of creative spellings, possible mistakes (did 6 people really name their boys Adeline?) and assorted other oddball picks that probably won’t suit most guys out there, you can find a few gems hidden among the more…ahem…unique choices.
You can check out my girls’ name picks from last week, or see what I’ve picked for the boys here.
Rigby This proper British surname name means farm along the ridge, and is perfect for a baby of Beatles fans (think Eleanor Rigby). It’s a nice alternative to other surname names like Reilly and Sullivan.
Hero This old-school name was traditionally for the girls (think of the character Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing). But this is one girls’ name that could easily cross the aisle for the boys.
Bruin I’m guessing most of the baby boy Bruins live in the Boston area, and the name was picked to honor the hockey team. But Bruin makes another offbeat color name (it means brown or bear).
Indy I’m assuming this was picked as a casual nickname for Indiana (a la Indiana Jones), but could also be considered short for independent. I’m not sure I totally love it, but it’s intriguing to me.
Sylvan This name evokes the woods and forest, perfect for a nature-loving family. (And you can either go with Syl or Van for short.)
Aristotle Someone’s parents were philosophy majors (or Greek). The name of the great Greek philosopher could be considered one of those cool and clunky old-school names, especially when you start talking nicknames, like Ari.
Wilfred You get two great nicknames—Will and the adorable Freddie—with this old English name, that means “desires peace.” Actor David Tennant chose it for his son, and it was also the name of a character on his show, Doctor Who. For the more literary minded, it was a hero in Sir Walter Scott’s classic Ivanhoe.
Sven Scandinavian names were already starting their climb in popularity before Frozen hit the big time, and now Elsa, Kristoff and Anna stand to become seriously red hot. Sven was the brave reindeer sidekick, and it means “youth.”
Tell us: What off-the-beaten path names do you like for your son? If you’re looking for something unique, try our Baby Name Finder, or email me at email@example.com for some baby name advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest baby name news.
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Baby Name Help, Baby Name Stories
Monday, June 9th, 2014
As expected, YA-novel-turned-movie The Fault in Our Stars ruled the box office over the weekend. And since we analyzed heroine Hazel’s name last week, I thought it was only fair to take a look at the other name from this pair of star-crossed lovers—Augustus.
Augustus was pretty popular for guys back in the 19th century, then began a slow and steady decline to the bottom of the top 1000. (You might think that the popular 1971 version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory put it on a downslope, given that the character Augustus Gloop was portrayed as a fat and gluttonous kid. But it actually started rising right after the movie came out.) Even before John Green’s book topped the best seller lists last year, the name was on a sharp incline back into popularity, thanks to its now trendy “us” ending. (It’s currently in the top 700 names in the U.S.) The name means great or magnificent, and comes with two cute nicknames: Auggie and Gus.
No word on what John Green thought Augustus’ middle name would be. I’d pair it with something short and traditional. John would be good, or try Thomas, Lee, James or Jackson.
What do you think of the name Augustus? Too stodgy, or something freshly worthy of consideration?
If you’re still looking for a perfect baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder. And be sure to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
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Baby Name Stories
Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to really get a baby name gem. And while the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. list offers plenty of stellar options, there are lots of head scratchers, too. (Do we really need to spell Journey Jurnee?)
But sometimes, it’s the ones that don’t make the top 1000 list that really shine—especially if you’re looking for something unique. Skip all those creative spellings of Adeline and check out these options.
Tilda With Matilda on the rise, will this shortened version follow suit? It means “mighty,” and has accomplished actress Tilda Swinton as its namesake.
Kismet I’m generally not a big fan of word names, like Journey or Destiny. But there’s something about Kismet (a name that actually means fated) that just seems right.
Marae This relative of Mary means bitter, and evokes the sea as well. It’s a great way to pay homage to a Mary in your family, without using the name.
Jovia By Jove, this name is intriguing—it’s a feminization of the Roman king of the gods, but also has that connotation of happiness, thanks to the word “jovial.”
Aretha The legendary Aretha Franklin may be a tough act to follow, but you could consider this name, which means “blessed,” in lieu of the more popular Athena.
Briony If you like floral names, but are weary of the Rose/Lily/Daisy combo, consider this very offbeat choice, a lovely vine with green-hued blooms.
Dulcinea This ultrafeminine name has a cool past for literary folks—it’s the name of Don Quixote’s fictional true love in Miguel Cervantes’ classic. It means sweet.
Magenta A vibrant purple-red shade could be the next cool color name, after names like Violet and Scarlett. (For Rocky Horror Picture Show fans, there’s the character who goes by the name.)
Ione How has this gem never made it into the top 1000? Popularized by actress Ione Skye (of Say Anything fame), it’s the name of a violet-colored stone, and of a sea nymph in Greek mythology.
Tell us: What offbeat names do you love? Would you consider any of my choices for your daughter?
Check out the wild and weird side of last year’s baby names—and see if you’d pick any of those for your kiddos! You can rate baby names with our popular Baby Name Game—and keep up with the latest in baby name news by liking In Name Only on Facebook!
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Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Finding time to read isn’t always easy with kids—and so I’m just now getting around to reading The Fault in Our Stars, John Green’s masterful story about the romance between two kids who just happen to have cancer. (I’m not yet done, so no spoilers, please!) If you haven’t read it, do—it’s the kind of book I love, where writer’s skill is so deft that he could write several chapters about assembling IKEA furniture, and you’d be willing to go along for the ride. And the movie, which opens in theaters on Friday, looks like a winner as well.
And if you’ve read the book, you know it only takes a few paragraphs before you fall in love with Hazel Grace, the “miracle” girl who survived a cancer that wrecked her lungs, forcing her to walk around trailing an oxygen tank that pipes better air through a cannula under her nose. And it seems that people have fallen back in love with the name Hazel as well.
Hazel is a nature name, for the tree that gives us hazelnuts, and it’s also a color—a green-flecked brown eye hue. It reached its first peak in popularity back in the early 1900s, then bottomed out from the 1970s to the early 2000s. But like many other turn-of-the-20th-century faves (think Adeline and Clara), this is making a big comeback. It’s a favorite of celebrities—Julia Roberts picked it first, followed recently by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. And it’s currently the 157th most popular name for girls here in the U.S. My guess is that with the movie release and the passionate fan base surrounding The Fault in Our Stars, this name is definitely on a popularity trajectory that should bring it into the top 100 within the next year or two.
John Green chose well pairing Hazel with the sweet middle name Grace. If you don’t want to seem like you’re copying, consider pairing Hazel with June, James (yes, it works for girls!), Claire, Plum or May/Mae.
What do you think of the name Hazel? Would you consider a nature-based name for your baby?
If your still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder
. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook
to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
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Baby Name Stories, In Name Only